Pakistan: Nation celebrates 70th Independence Day with traditional fervour

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 14 (APP): The nation celebrated the 70th Independence Day (August 14) on Sunday with great zeal
and traditional fervour by paying tribute to the national heroes  for their sacrifices and pledging to work for the country’s  prosperity.

The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad
and 21-gun salutes in all the provincial capitals.

The main event was held at Convention Center in
Islamabad where President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif hoisted the national flag.

Both the leaders attired in black sherwanis unfurled the
green and white flag at 9 am sharp, coinciding with similar events  across the country. Earlier all traffic came to a halt as the sirens blared at 8:58 am, followed by singing of the National Anthem.

The event at the Convention Centre was attended by the
National Assembly Speaker, federal ministers, services chiefs,  diplomats, elite of the city and children.

A ceremony of Change of Guards was held at the Mausoleum  Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the national poet and great philosopher, in Lahore.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif visited
Allama Iqbal’s Mazar and laid a wreath on his grave. He also
offered Fateha as well.

In Karachi, an impressive Change of Guard ceremony was
held at the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the  founder of Pakistan.

A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Naval Academy
cadets, clad in ceremonial dresses, assumed guard duties at
the Mazar-e-Quaid in the morning with traditional spirit,
customary enthusiasm and befitting manner.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah along with his
cabinet members paid a visit to the Mazar-e-Quaid.

The embassies and high commissions of Pakistan in various
countries celebrated the Independence Day with flag hoisting
ceremonies.

In cities, towns and villages across the country, special
prayers were offered for the peace, prosperity and solidarity
of the country while different functions and seminars organized  by educational institutions were part of the celebrations.

All major public and private buildings, streets and
avenues were illuminated and decorated with national flags,
banners and buntings to mark the day.

Cultural, social and literary organizations arranged
programmes.

Meanwhile Azadi Train, which is one of the striking features
of Independence Day celebrations, continued its country-wide  one-month journey, which began on Thursday from Margalla Station Islamabad.

The train, comprises over 17 coaches, is exhibiting different
aspects of Pakistan’s culture, besides highlighting sacrifices of
heroes of the Independence Movement and armed forces for the country’s defence.

Pakistan Post issued a commemorative stamp to pay tribute to great social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, for his services.

He died last month.
In Islamabad, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA)
under its week-long programmes organized an Azadi cultural and musical show, featuring a number of colourful performances by the artists belonging to all the provinces.

A three-day Mela continued at Capital’s F-9 Park on third day
featuring different stalls carrying Jashan-i-Azadi accessories
including dresses, flags, bunting and eatables. The Jashan-i-Azadi  Mela started on Friday.

Lok Virsa’ Mandwa Film Club screened the famous film “Jinnah” at its Virsa Media Centre.

Lok Virsa held the special Independence Day cake cutting
ceremony at the Pakistan Monument Museum. The newly established Lok Virsa Folk Dance Group performed at the Heritage Museum.

“Lok Virsa is arranging week-long activities to celebrate the
Independence Day and this is for the first time that its cultural dance group will be launched,” said Executive Director, Lok Virsa, Dr Fauzia Saeed.

Talking to APP, she said screening of the film, `Jinnah’,
exhibition, cultural show, and cake cutting ceremony were the main highlights of the Lok Virsa’s activities.

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